March 23, 2015
Janice Morton

Welcome to People's Park, literally the center of Shanghai!  We'll look at both People's Park and People's Square, north and south of Renmin Ave. (People's Ave.) respectively.

Parks-Peoples

People's Park is set at the site of the former Shanghai Racing Club.  The racetrack was established by the British in 1862 and served as the leading horse racing track in East Asia.  The club building, with clock tower as seen in the picture below, was built in 1933.

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The conversion to a park was completed in 1952.  This calm water area is surrounded by paths at the west end of the park.

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Hidden at this west entrance is this statue of a brave soldier.

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On weekend afternoons, at the north end of the park you can find the marriage market.  The goal of this market is for Shanghai parents to find a match for their unwed children. 

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Displayed on the umbrellas you see are papers listing the age, height, job, income, education, and zodiac sign.  Keep in mind that most of these parents are shopping for a match without their children’s consent.

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This marriage market has been going on since 2004.

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The center of the park has a section of amusement rides for the kiddos.

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And there is a small snack stand to get a drink and rest on a bench as you watch the day go by.

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Or plenty of paths to wander down and enjoy some greenery.

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Or perhaps join in a game…

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People’s Park is just across the street from People’s Square, the largest public square in the city at 140,000 square meters (that’s over 1.5 million square feet for us Yankees).  Bordering on or within the square are City Hall (seen below), the Grand Theatre (to its left), the Shanghai Museum, the Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, and the Museum of Contemporary Art. 

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Looking just opposite is the Shanghai Museum, which admits 8,000 free every day.

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All of this sits atop a large underground complex of shopping streets, the largest underground city transformer substation in Asia, the largest underground parking garage in Shanghai, and the People’s Square Station where lines 1, 2, and 8 meet.  Rush hour at this station is a thing to behold.  And last, everyone loves some water set to music.  This display started at 3 pm and lasted for almost 45 minutes making for some spectacular people watching.  This video, however, is only 2 minutes long.

 Water Feature in People's Square

Next stop, Century Park!

See what else is happening @HKSArchitects and @HKSXchange #OneFirm on Twitter and at HKS on Facebook and LinkedIn!

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